Did You Miss the Pokemon Fad?
I was in San Francisco Aug. 14 (attending PPAI North American Leadership Conference) and watched as nearly everyone seemed to be playing "Pokemon Go." I was in San Francisco this weekend and other than a few young boys, I saw hardly anyone playing "Pokemon Go".
This isn't because I wasn't paying attention. In fact, it was so striking to me that I could not miss it. People were talking to each other and not staring at their phones. I am not exaggerating when I tell you nearly half of the people I saw while walking by the water just five weeks ago were playing "Pokemon Go." This weekend, it's closer to 1 percent of the people I saw, and most of them were very young.
Yet, just five weeks ago, this was all anyone was talking about. We were being told we have to adjust our businesses to this new reality. It seemed everyone was jumping on the bandwagon.
If you didn't jump on it, you missed it. "Pokemon Go" is now just another game, like "Farmville." It will do well, but it is not going to be the catalyst for your marketing efforts.
Yet, it did introduce us all to the potential power of augmented reality. I'm still not sure exactly how we will see augmented reality used in the coming years, but "Pokemon Go" gave us a glimpse of some possibilities. Of course, there are augmented reality tattoos and other options that have been around for a while, but for some reason nothing is driving significant sales.
I'm bullish on the potential for augmented and virtual reality (they are very different), but we are not at a point where it is a clear business tool. The technology is very impressive to show to clients and makes for a great presentation. Just don't over-invest in the hype.
The Pokemon fad is over. For now.